Monday, April 23, 2012

Art For Sale

I have been reading in the paper this past week about The Studios of Key West and their funding problems, and the future looks bad for the current occupants of the armory.


For now there is no change at the Armory building on White Street but rent must be paid and the money has dried up.


What happen d was the Rodel Foundation as was persuaded the organization to take over the vast space in the renovated Armory and pay hefty rent to the Historic Trust that oversees the building.


That worked fine until the Rodel Foundation collapsed. The paper said it was a divorce between the founders but I seem to recall Rodel. Lost a fortune in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.


So now the studios of Key West are trying to renegotate the rent from $16,000 a month! to possibly $9,000. The historic trust has already given up, rather decently on a quarter million in back payments but there is no hope the Studios can keep paying vast rent without Rodel's half million a year's grant.


It's a shame that the Studios will be closing as they have provided not only a space for exhibits, like this by Suzie dePoo, known in art as Zuzek of Yugoslavian descent, but also they hold classes talks and concerts.


They have a website of course TSKW Link but it shows nothing untoward as far as the Studios precarious future is concerned.


There isn't much to discuss because it is merely a matter of mathematics and the crash of 2008 has wrecked many an artistic funding path.


At a time when school funding is being ravaged and some municipalities are facing bankruptcy it's hardly surprising when arts funding goes kaput. We will look back on the crazy nineties with fondness the further forward we go, I suspect.


And just across the street we have the likelihood of as many as 157 units of housing being emptied by a development plan for Peary Court. It seems the Navy has sold the land to a private developer after closing it as military housing and allowing civilians to rent the homes.


Peary Court has a storied history with activists chaining themselves to trees to prevent the land from being developed. You can see how it was in the movie Crisscross when it was the scene of a night softball game. I remember walking across Peary Court as a grassy short cut between Garrison Bight and Southard Street twenty years ago.


Now the future of the much despised housing is up in the air.


It's one more never ending Key West saga, Peary Court in all it's permutations.



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2 comments:

Danette said...

Funny, of all the artists we have looked at in Key West, I hadn't heard of Suzie dePoo. Maurice owns a Martha dePoo however and we both love her artwork. Clearly the artistic vein ran in the family.

Stephen in Big D said...

Hmmm… The Studios; Peary Court; Secret Garden; the Mohawk… It seems that KW is changing so rapidly. It saddens me to think that it's in danger of losing its unique charm that led me to enact my plan to move there. Please tell me it's not morphing into a mini Dallas!